Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal – Karl Schonborn" />
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Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal – Karl Schonborn

Karl Schonborn’s silver tongue is locked away for years by a birth defect that makes his speech unclear and his face asymmetrical. Bullies target him for this and even for being restricted from PE and sports. But with courage, humor, and his family’s love, he overcomes shame, handicaps, and personal losses that might have defeated others. Skilled doctors, speech therapists, and his own determination allow him a shot at his dream of becoming a debate star and attending an elite college. However, after various successes Schonborn must deal with reverses in his love life and worse–unspeakable tragedy in his family. Somehow, he survives, even thrives. Spanning the WWII ’40s, the conformist ’50s, and the revolutionary ’60s, Schonborn’s coming-of-age story recounts, among other things, his friendship with a famous folksinger, conscientious-objection to the Vietnam War, and an amazing around-the-world odyssey. His story, like the stories of the speech-challenged Greek orator Demosthenes and British King George VI, will have you crying and cheering at the same time.

“A poignant, heartfelt tale of endurance and hope. Schonborn’s story is an inspiration to all who endure physical or mental health challenges and those who care about them.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

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